Clovis north: Former Wildcats help turn Robertson program around

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent

If Clovis coach Eric Roanhaus is right, his son Chad is just as big of a Wildcats’ football fan as anyone in the state.

“He’s a Wildcat born, a Wildcat bred and, when he dies, he’ll be a Wildcat dead,” Roanhaus says.

Funny thing, though: Chad Roanhaus, a record-setting quarterback at Clovis in 1992-1993 and an assistant coach at the high school three years ago, would just assume miss seeing all of the Wildcats’ remaining games this season.

And that even includes a Class 5A state championship appearance, if the ‘Cats are that fortunate.

“I hope I don’t get to see them play in the state championship game, because it’ll mean we’re in it too,” said Chad Roanhaus, who has turned the Class 3A Las Vegas Robertson around with the help of his brother and a former Clovis teammate.

The Cardinals were 1-9 in his first year and went 8-4 last year while reaching the state playoffs.

Ranked second in Class 3A, Robertson has already clinched the District 2-3A championship by knocking off top rivals St. Michael’s 35-0 and Raton 28-21.

“I was real surprised last year, to go from one and nine to eight and four and make the playoffs. I knew we’d be a pretty good ballclub, but I didn’t think we’d be as good as we are,” said Chad Roanhaus.

John Roanhaus, Chad’s younger brother and a 1996 graduate of CHS, is the offensive and defensive line coach while 1993 grad Doug Cavanaugh coaches running backs and defensive backs.

Chad Roanhaus and Cavanaugh also played together for two years at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas.

“I do like Las Vegas and they treat me very well. Of course, they treat me a whole lot better when I’m eight and one than when I was one-and-nine,” said Chad Roanhaus, who set several passing records at Highlands. “This is my ninth year here in Las Vegas, so I’ve kind of grown accustomed to it.”

Cavanaugh, who scored the game-winning touchdown for Clovis in the 1991 state championship game against Eldorado, said playing on title teams is an asset the Robertson coaches have on their side.

“The good thing about this coaching staff is that is that the ones from Clovis have a state championship, our defensive coordinator from Texas has one, (assistant) Robert Lovato is from Roswell — and they won one in 2000,” said Cavanaugh, who still holds the game and season rushing records at Clovis. “We know what it takes and that’s what we’re trying to instill in these kids.”

Chad Roanhaus said many of the traditions he learned from his father at Clovis are have been put in place in the northern New Mexico town.

“Definitely, we do our practice schedules very similar. We do our warmups and stretches, those things, almost exactly like Clovis does.”